Two on Tampa City Council endorse Montelione for state House 63
TAMPA City Council members Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez are endorsing fellow Democrat and council member Lisa Montelione in her bid to win the state House District 63 seat.
But it’s unclear if Montelione will get similar backing from her other colleagues on the all Democratic city council.
Councilman Frank Reddick in June crossed party lines to endorse Montelione’s Republican opponent Shawn Harrison.
And Yvonne Yolie Capin, who donated to Montelione’s campaign, said Tuesday she will not be making an endorsement in the race.
“The only person I endorsed was for president,” Capin said. “I stayed out of all the campaigns.”
Also not picking sides is longtime council member Charlie Miranda. He served alongside Harrison on the city council for part of Harrison’s eight-year stint on the council.
“I work with both of them so it would be disrespectful to endorse one of the other,” Miranda said.
Councilman Guido Maniscalco, who represents West Tampa said he has not been approached by Montelione’s campaign and may opt to stay neutral.
“I’d rather not get involved,” he said. “It’s nothing personal. (The seat) is beyond my district.”
State House District 63 has been something of a swing seat in recent years, voting Democrat in presidential election years and Republican in off-year elections. The seat includes the New Tampa-university area.
In his endorsement, Suarez said Montelione is passionate about Tampa and makes informed decisions on council.
“She will bring that same sense of mission and passion to the Florida Legislature and be a credit to our City and District 63,” he said.
Cohen described Montelione as hardworking, well-prepared, and knowledgeable.
“She always does what she believes to be the right thing for our community,” he said.
Montelione on Tuesday also announced endorsements from Sierra Club and the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida.